Take part in this year’s RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 25 – 27 January

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch
Beautiful blue tits are regular visitors to Bedfordshire gardens and green spaces

Binoculars at the ready – the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch takes place from 25 – 27 January and everyone in Bedford is encouraged to take part.

The Big Garden Birdwatch is a wonderful way to spend an hour watching and recording the birds that you see. You don’t need a garden to take part, any Bedford park or green space is suitable.

Sign up here: www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch and submit your results by post or online before the second week in February.

Traditionally, the Bedfordshire Birdwatch results are very similar to the national results, but last year, some lucky residents recorded seeing a great spotted woodpecker, a red kite and 1.8% saw a goldfinch.

Despite taking the number one spot for 16 consecutive years, house sparrows have declined by 56% since the Big Garden Birdwatch began in 1979.

There’s are a few simple things you can do to help house sparrows, such as planting shrubs like honeysuckle and hawthorn to provide cover and a home for insects.

Song thrushes and starlings have also declined by almost 80% since 1979, due to a loss of places where they prefer to live and breed.

County Species Rank 2019 % Gardens 2019 Rank 2018 % Change Rank Change No. of Participants
Bedfordshire House_sparrow 1 59.8 1 -3.6 0 6007.0
Bedfordshire Starling 2 49.6 2 -8.0 0
Bedfordshire Woodpigeon 3 79.9 3 3.6 0
Bedfordshire Blue_tit 4 76.4 4 3.1 0
Bedfordshire Blackbird 5 86.4 5 -1.2 0
Bedfordshire Goldfinch 6 35.0 6 0.8 0
Bedfordshire Great_tit 7 53.3 10 8.8 3
Bedfordshire Robin 8 79.9 9 1.3 1
Bedfordshire Collared_dove 9 52.6 7 -9.4 -2
Bedfordshire Magpie 10 50.3 12 10.8 2
Bedfordshire Long_tailed_tit 11 25.3 8 -26.8 -3
Bedfordshire Chaffinch 12 32.1 11 -13.1 -1
Bedfordshire Dunnock 13 40.7 13 -13.8 0
Bedfordshire Jackdaw 14 20.0 14 -0.9 0
Bedfordshire Feral_pigeon 15 15.2 15 1.0 0
Bedfordshire Carrion_crow 16 23.1 16 12.7 0
Bedfordshire Coal_tit 17 19.6 17 -11.5 0
Bedfordshire Greenfinch 18 13.5 18 -17.5 0
Bedfordshire Wren 19 17.9 19 -11.9 0
Bedfordshire Song_thrush 20 8.8 20 3.7 0

“To encourage more birds to visit your garden put feeders out as soon as possible so the birds start to flock to your patch,” said an RSPB spokesperson.

“Topping up your feeders regularly is especially important during the colder months when our garden birds most need our help.

“It’s also important to make sure birds have a fresh water supply – a good tip is to float a tennis ball in your bird bath to stop the water freezing.”


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